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Ichiyôsai Yoshitaki (一養齋芳瀧)

(R) Fujikawa Shôkuro as Suribari Tarô, (C) Jitsukawa Enjaku as Ushiwakamaru; (L) Asao Ryokuroku as Matsuwaka in Kachidoki mibae Genji, Chikugo no Shibai, Osaka
Yoshitaki ga
No artist seal
No publisher seal
(H x W)
Deluxe ôban nishiki-e
25.0 x 38.4 cm
Excellent (with extensive metallics)
Excellent color, unbacked; mild vertical centerfold
Price (USD/¥):
$470 / Contact us to pay in yen (¥)

Order/Inquiry: YST11


Kachidoki mibae Genji (Victory song of the Genji: 勝鬨?源氏) was based on a real-life incident from 1804 involving the lord of Akashi and a hunter named Gennai. A related play of the period was Katakiuchi ura no asagiri (Revenge along the bay in morning fog: 敵討浦朝霧).

Ushiwakamaru was the childhood name of the legendary Genji general Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159-89). Kumasaka Chôhan was a notorious bandit whose exploits have been popularized for centuries in the folk tales and legends of Japan. Most famous were his attacks against travellers in the Province of Mino, where there was a pine tree approximately 20 meters high from which it was possible to spy upon the unsuspecting and rob them of their luggage and valuables. One day Kumasaka's outlaw band attacked Ushiwakamaru, a lad of sixteen who was traveling with a merchant's retinue after running away from the temple where he was being educated. He soundly defeated the thugs, displaying astonishing swordsmanship while slaying thirteen. When Chôhan attempted to dispatch the youth himself, he failed, suffering many wounds as Ushiwakamaru danced and leapt about, easily parrying the blows from his adversary. This legend became the subject of a drama entitled Kumasaka, as well as a popular subject in songs, dances, and kabuki dramas.


This is one of Yoshitaki's more dramatic night scenes. Ôban prints by Yoshitaki are rare, and even fewer are known in the yoko-e (horizontal print) format. Furthermore, the survival of two generous margins (top and right) in the present example are notably uncommon.